The Ozark Grinder

Can You Complete the Ozark Grinder?

Cycle of Influence

Finishing a long bicycle route is a reward within itself. Taking on the challenge of hours in the saddle, carrying all you need for the trip, and being prepared to handle repairs, both to yourself and the bike, along the way can be very satisfying. Add to that the scenery that can only be properly appreciated at pedal speed, the people you have a chance to meet along the way, and the sense of exploration can all make the trip worth doing. But maybe you want a little extra. Searcy County has you covered.

The Ozark Grinder Trail will award completer patches to riders who ride the entire trail between Gilbert and Fairfield Bay. The ride can be started from either end.

Riders must take mandatory selfies at:

  • Gilbert General Store
  • Richland Creek Bridge
  • Richland Waterfalls Welcome Center in Witts Springs
  • Wades Convenience Store in Leslie
  • Oxley General Store
  • Red River low-water bridge at Lydalisk
  • Shirley Railroad bridge,
  • Fairfield Bay Cobblestone Hotel
You must also email your Strava or similar route recording data to Dirk Merle (d.merle (at) hotmail.com) who will certify your completion and record your time.

Participant rules:

  • Get the selfies
  • Follow the route and turn in your data to Dirk Merle
  • Self-supported – you can accept trail love and random acts of kindness. Don’t ask for help, but accept it if given. You are free to shop anywhere that is open to the public.
  • If you need help, ask. Although the finish won’t be official, you need to manage your safety and health.
  • Official times are based on when you hit start on your GPS. Do not pause it during your effort. Hit finish when complete, and turn data into Dirk Merle for official review and record of your effort.
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Fastest Known Times will be recorded for Male and Female up to age 59, and for 60+ Seniors in the categories of E-Bike, Non-E-Bike, and Single-Speed bike. Taking overnight lodging along the way is permitted. Have a great ride on the wild and scenic Ozark Grinder Trail! Route Map.

134.3miles, 12,145ft of Elevation, Max Grade 13.5%

Ozark Grinder Map
Ozark Grinder Map

Before you attempt the ITT, please make sure you recon the water crossings. This route has a number of water crossings!  The route has multiple surfaces; paved, gravel, forest service, and river beds. It is NOT an easy route, but you will be hard-pressed to find a more epic route in Arkansas.


Find more trip ideas at ArkansasOutside.com.

The Community Bicyclist

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